Ann Cooper is an award-winning journalist and foreign correspondent with more than 25 years of radio and print reporting experience. She also worked eight years as executive director of the Committee to Protect Journalists, a press freedom advocacy group, prior to joining the Columbia faculty.
Cooper’s voice was well known to National Public Radio listeners as NPR’s first Moscow bureau chief, covering the tumultuous events of the final five years of Soviet communism. She co-edited a book, “Russia at the Barricades,” about a failed 1991 coup attempt, and she has continued to write about the glasnost era, the subsequent decline of press freedom in Russia, and Russia’s global media strategy.
After Moscow, Cooper worked as NPR's bureau chief in Johannesburg. Her coverage of South Africa’s first all-race elections in 1994 helped NPR win a duPont-Columbia silver baton for excellence in broadcast journalism.
Cooper has also reported for the Louisville Courier-Journal, Capitol Hill News Service, Congressional Quarterly, the Baltimore Sun, and National Journal magazine. In 1996, she was the Edward R. Murrow fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, and in 2003 she was the James H. Ottaway Sr. Visiting Professor of Journalism at State University of New York in New Paltz.
Cooper served as president of the Correspondents Fund and is a member of CPJ’s Leadership Council and of the Council on Foreign Relations. At Columbia, she was the Journalism School’s Broadcast Director 2006-2012 and International Director 2015-2018. She served on Columbia's Committee on Global Thought and as a member of the Harriman Institute faculty at Columbia. Cooper has also been a juror for the Pulitzer, Overseas Press Club and duPont-Columbia awards, and she chaired the duPont jury 2007-2010.
Iowa State University, where Cooper majored in journalism, has honored her with its James W. Schwartz award for service to journalism and its Alumni Merit Award, given "for outstanding contributions to human welfare that transcend purely professional accomplishments and bring honor to the university."
She has been to nearly 80 countries – some as a journalist, others as a press-freedom advocate or a team leader for Habitat for Humanity global volunteer programs. She has been a U.S. State Department speaker on press freedom and journalism ethics in Turkey, Russia and Germany.
Cooper was a Spring 2020 fellow at Harvard's Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy.